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Taiwan performing groups to impress the world at Shanghai Expo

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin, fourth from left, met with representatives from seven performing groups on Tuesday.    As the Shanghai World Expo approaches, several performing arts groups in Taiwan are getting ready to take part in that grand gathering of world cultures. The Taipei Culture Week from June 3 to 28 will be one of the highlights of the Taipei Pavilion together with the city’s success in broadband wireless installation and waste recycling.

    Around 1,000 performers from seven performing arts troupes will present their most popular or classical repertoire to portray the artistic and cultural side of Taiwan.

    “The scale of this cultural exchange is so far the largest between Taipei and Shanghai,” said Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin on Tuesday. The idea of the cultural week came after he and Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng exchanged visits. Shanghai Culture Week was held last October in Taipei.

    “We want to introduce Taiwan not only to people in Shanghai, but also to people from around the world. The Expo is a great opportunity,” he added.

    Taipei Culture Week features a comprehensive selection of both visual and performing arts, film and documentaries, forums and expositions. Ming Hua Yuan Arts and Cultural Group will present its signature Legend of the White Snake on Dragon Boat Festival on June 16, which has been chosen to be the Taipei Day at the Expo.

    Chen Sheng-fu, director of Ming Hua Yuan, said the group will perform at the Shanghai Hongkou soccer stadium, and mesmerize the audience with 400 tons of water flowing down the stadium of 25,000 seats.

    Three days after the Taipei Day, Taiwanese famed Peking opera diva Wei Hai-min from the Guogang Opera Company will play the tormented female lead Cao Chi-chiao in the Golden Cangue, adapted from Chinese author Eileen Chang’s same-title novel.

    The Contemporary Legend Theatre will present Kingdom of Desire, an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth, in a way that integrates the traditions of two drama cultures, an innovation itself.

    It is anticipated that the Shanghai Oriental Art Center will be swamped with people wanting to see the U-Theatre’s Sound of the Ocean on June 18 and 19, since this masterpiece has been performed in more than 50 cities.

    Liu Rou-yu, artistic director of U-Theatre said she is confident that the seven performing groups will conquer Shanghai with the power of Taiwan’s arts and culture.